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When I set up a PC, I would like to be able to have it so when anyone logs into that PC from the domain a couple of IT bookmarks will be in IE.

I read I can do this with a Domain-Level group policy, but unfortunately, with my current domain group policies have not gone well, so I have fear (Rather not get into this in this question).

Can I do this at the PC level when I deploy a new computer? So any domain users who log into the PC will have these bookmarks added when their profile is created (no roaming profiles). These are XP machines, and the domain is run by 2003 controllers.

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can create a simple user-logon script to copy the desired .URL files into %USERPROFILE%\Favorites. This method will require you to roll your own "clean-up" and updates methods.

qad:

IF NOT EXIST "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\desired_bookmark_name.url" (
  COPY "%NETSOURCE%\desired_bookmark_name.url" "%USERPROFILE%\Favorites\desired_bookmark_name.url"
)

You could walk a list of desired Favorites with FOR and add them as needed.

The Group Policy method would be best though. You can add/remove/update Favorites entries. GP also allows you to specify an icon for the Favorites as well as their order in the IE listing. There are options for deleting existing Favorites [which sounds like your main concern] which you can easily disable.

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Edit

Per your non-scripted comment.

If you don't want to script it and the computer has not had any users log on... You could add the Favorites to the Default User profile's Favorites folder. This is not ideal but will put the populate the Favorites of every new user profile created on the computer.

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So If apply the policy to all 'Authenticated Users', is basically Everyone? –  Kyle Brandt Apr 30 '10 at 15:23
    
@Kyle Basically, yes, it is everyone. There are differences between the domain groups 'Authenticated Users' and 'Everyone' but that's another question/answer all together. You could remove/change this filtering to test it first, say, on your user only. –  jscott Apr 30 '10 at 15:37
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I suggest you to try the Group Policy method - it's really nothing to be afraid of :)

Group policy editor: User Configuration / Windows Settings / Internet Explorer Maintenance / URLs

I guess if you really don't want to use GPOs then you could also create a startup script of some kind that would copy the shortcut file to %homepath%/Favorites folder...

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I or it screws up and some executive comes to my desk and asks where his/her bookmarks went. "I had bookmarked this site to a site with best golf tips ever, I can't remember where it was, and now its gone! Stop worrying about our customer facing websites and come fix my bookmarks now!" :-) –  Kyle Brandt Apr 30 '10 at 13:35
    
I thought maybe there were machine level policies on each machine? –  Kyle Brandt Apr 30 '10 at 13:36
    
Well, +1 for the GP instructions :-) But if there is a simple way (non-scripted), I would still prefer that. –  Kyle Brandt Apr 30 '10 at 13:40
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Here's another way of accomplishing this that works with Internet Explorer 10+

User configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Shortcuts: New Shortcut

Action: Replace

Name: %USERPROFILE%\Favorites\Links\Name of Favourite

Target Type: URL

Location: <Specify full path>

Target URL: http://www.urloffavourite.com/

Common tab: CHECKED - Remove this item when it is no longer applied

I found out recently that Internet Explorer Maintenance (IEM) settings have been deprecated in favour of Group Policy Preferences, Administrative Templates (.admx), and the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK). So this is the only way I've found so far that works for IE7+ including IE10 and IE11.

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